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Indoor USPSA - Range Design Wishlist

indoor range stage design uspsa wishlist

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#1 Alex Gac

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 10:56 AM

I have the opportunity to provide design input during the construction phase of a new indoor range.  I know a lot of you shoot indoor USPSA matches, and a few of you even facilitate running them.  
 
What are some of your Wishlist items for an indoor range that hosts USPSA matches?
What have you seen at an indoor range that was really great for USPSA shooting?
What range design features would help with stage design, stage props, match logistics, or shooter enjoyment?
What (changeable) range elements make indoor shooting less-than-awesome for you?

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argumentum ad ignorantiam


#2 Motosapiens

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 10:58 AM

ventilation is the deal-breaker for me. I don't shoot at the local indoor range because I don't think it's healthy, so unfortunately I don't know what other problems it might have.


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#3 not that bryan

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 11:16 AM

Ventilation
To be specific ventilation designed to keep the air quality good down range. You have to design the ventilation a little differently if you care about down range air quality and not just the firing line.

Being able to shoot into the walls.
This will help open up your options for stage design.

Easily accessible storage.
The ability to get props; most importantly wall sections, into and out of the range easily.

Multiple bays
This is big for matches to be able to run multiple stages at a time.

Lighting,
Good lighting down range. A lot of ranges have good lighting at the firing line and then on their target carriers, but otherwise poor down range lighting.

Shielding from splatter,
The ceiling and lighting/ track system / carriers need to be protected from splatter or ricochets to shoot steel without tearing up the range.
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#4 GuanoLoco

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 11:27 AM

Current challenges at my indoor range:

  • Inability to shoot walls + long narrow bay
  • Ventilation - The closer you are to the backstop the worse the ventilation in our case.  Sucking fumes is awful and enough to make you quit.  About to tell the TiteGroup/Moly guys to EABOD.
    • We mitigate with floor fans like you use to dry carpets.  Better than nothing, but still weak.
  • The further away from the backstop the tougher it is to design interesting stages as all rounds have to hit the backstop
  • Lighting, especially for the older guys - night vision deteriorates surprisingly quickly with age and people hate dusky lighting, shadows on targets, etc.  FO sights suck in poor lighting.
  • Flooring - preferably non-slip.  It will be dusty/grimy.  Epoxy coating with some grit maybe?
    • Ability to clean range floor occasionally, gets nasty after a while
  • Props - standing walls, barrels, roll-up walls/target arrays hanging from target rails, fault lines.  Think HARD about it.  Test it at other ranges.
    • Decent target stands.  The little airsoft things are small, light and work but they sort-of suck.
    • Ability to get props and gear in/out of the bays quickly
    • Props that can be set up/torn down / re-arranged QUICKLY
  • A single bay - we have to set up and tear down each stage in a bay, only 1 squad of shooters possible.  Sucks when 20 people show up.
  • A place to put your gear bag/load mags/etc. other than the nasty floor.
  • A place to secure props/targets/pasters/staplers/sticks/etc.  If anyone 'borrows' anything it will come up missing or come back trashed.
  • Wifi that works in the bay for Practiscore/synching
  • A playbook of stages that work with your props and setup

All I could think of at the moment.

 

PS> Ability to shoot steel is a good point above.  We don't do it at the current range.  Currrent range has unprotected fluorescent lighting so it is a non-starter.  Last indoor range we could do it but the angled plate backstop baffles were awful and we were always getting hit with spall.


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#5 T "G" O

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 11:58 AM

I shoot quite a bit at indoor ranges.

Biggest issues... all rounds going straight down range limits stage design unless you have mobile bullet traps. They make wall system that allow you to shoot into the sidewalls of a range. This would make an stage design exponentially better, but like mentioned, mobile bullet traps work too and are cheaper.

Lighting, most range lighting is designed for shooting from bays, down range though you'll get bright and dark spots, space lighting out with the goal of lighting the room vs. lighting specific areas in the range (it will actually do both if done right).

Good ventilation is an obvious one, the system needs to be designed with the exhaust fan at the end of the range and make up air coming in not only in the back by the stalls but in the middle of the range as well. This can be done by just piping out of your make up air plenum and dumping it down range... this in my opinion eliminates lingering smoke. Biggest problem I think most poorly ventilated ranges have is not CFMs.
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#6 not that bryan

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 01:08 PM

Floors
Polished concrete is the most durable for the range, but is super slippery. Any little bit of unburned powder left on the ground makes it slick.
Painting the floor works well but nerds to be redone about once a year. Depending on the type of paint it can work out well and be grippy enough to not slip, but will get more slippery as time goes on.

#7 Alex Gac

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 01:09 PM

This range is planned to be multiple sets of 6- or 8-lane wide, 25yd long bays.  They could have 12- or 16-lane wide bays, but they are planning to divide them in half so that ventilation is better.  Good ventilation is a clear goal for this facility, so the down-range air flow considerations are good to hear.

Excellent points about prop storage and accessibility.  The floor is also a good thought.  

 

What do people use for walls?  Steel stands with 2x4s and plywood walls like at an outdoor range?  Or hanging walls from a ceiling?


argumentum ad ignorantiam


#8 GuanoLoco

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 01:30 PM

The 2x4 stands are too heavy and a PITA.

 

I took 4' high x 8' wide window screen, stapled hard to 2 8' 1x2 target stand sticks, and sandwiched black duct tape on the vertical wall edges.   2 6' lengths of paracord on the top corners give lots of options for hanging from target runner rails.  Often just a couple loops will do, friction vs. knots is best.   Walls roll up nice, and are easy to patch.  Black duct tape is cheap and very durable with respect to muzzle blast.  Cut a port, edge with black duct tape.  if you leave the top of the port connected, and staple a section of 1x2 to the bottom you can open and close it as desired.

 

I've seen mobile walls on stands, PVC, welded steel, etc. with screen.  They are faster and easier to move around, but harder to store/manage when not in use.  And more expensive, harder to make and repair.


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#9 not that bryan

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 01:33 PM

We use 2x2 framing and snow fence for walls.
Solid walls make it harder to see that the range is clear and will block airflow.

#10 pmt

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 12:10 AM

A club I used to shoot at had an asphalt floor. It is durable and not slippery. Props could be screwed to the floor.

 

Assuming you get cold/snow in Omaha - a good ventilation system will also draw all of the warm air out of the building in winter months.

 

I always liked the idea of issuing a 'per shot penalty' (either time or monetary) for those that insist on shooting lead indoors.



#11 Cranky Gunsmith

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 11:40 PM

I work at an indoor range. Wider bays provide more options for setup. 6-8 lanes will be fine. We have a smaller side with 4 lanes, it sucks to set up something interesting in.

 

Prop storage can be challenging, our props live outside in the garbage dumptser enclosure. Storage behind the traps is a no-go due to the lead residue that settles everywhere. We use the Savage Range Systems wet snail traps and a sluge settles on everything.







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